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Tuesday, February 20th 2007

Well My Republican Primary Vote Is Cast

Dr. Ron Paul is an odd-ball (h/t Wonkette) in some ways.

I swear I heard him speak while I was in college. For the life of me however it is just out of the reach of my mind…it feels like when a word is right on the tip of your tongue. In anycase, I cannot remember where or when but I suppose it must’ve been back here in Texas and I remember the talk was a lot on federalism and states’ rights. I’ll come back and edit this post if I remember the details.

Now to the point of the post. Until this spotlight piece by Fox News I didn’t even know he was running for President.

When most members of Congress see a bill for the first time, they immediately judge the bill on its merits, or if you’re more cynical, they determine what the political interests that support them will think of it, or how it might benefit their constituents.

For Paul, the vast majority of bills don’t get that far. He first asks, “Does the Constitution authorize Congress to pass this law?” Most of the time, the answer to that question is “no.” And so Paul votes accordingly.

And now it is a presidential campaign which, in a perfect world would push some Republican contenders towards some true conservative ideals,

More after the jump.

Paul recently announced his intentions to run for president in 2008. For the few of us who still care about limited government, individual rights, and a sensible foreign policy, Paul’s candidacy is terrific news. Not because he’s likely to win. He’s a not-terribly-powerful Congressman who’s a pariah in his own party – which also happens to be the minority party. Not the ideal presidential dossier.

Paul has already run for president once, on the Libertarian Party ticket.

Dr. Paul may have a stronger character and ideology than myself in his strict interpretation of the Constitution, but we certainly agree on many things. The man has a very strong civil liberties record (something increasingly important to me), he’s extremely fiscally conservative, and he wants to reform drug laws.

It is hard to agree with Dr. Paul on everything. His insistence that we return to the gold standard may be the most far fetched of his opinions. As well he is very anti-immigration, which I am not. His opinion on immigration drifts from the organized Libertarian Party ideal, as does his stance on abortion.

My anti-abortion stance is actually in line with Dr. Paul; a small government minded individual who opposes abortion is difficult to come by as you can imagine. Abortion is a topic I’m not truly passionate about but despite a lack of rising blood pressure or true interest in the topic it is the issue that gets me most in trouble with other libertarian minded people.

For me this isn’t issue of privacy rights – the debate needs to be framed over when life begins. No one would place a mother’s privacy rights over a right to life (I don’t think). The problem of course is defining when life begins is a more difficult thing (at least personally) than some hard core advocates (on both sides) give people credit for. Which is why I have trouble getting all huffed up about other’s opinions on the issue, even if I don’t agree with them.

I’ll try to give a self deprecating summary of my position. I don’t deal with the vague or abstract, I need concrete definitions of things; call it being a little simple minded. I need a concrete, coherent, stands the test of time definition of when life begins. And for me that is at conception. There are problems with that definition, but there are problems with ANY definition of when life begins.

Beyond premies living younger and younger with medical advances, I truly believe that during my career practicing medicine artificial wombs will be a reality. We will be able to fertilize eggs and allow a child to develop without issue of a mother’s privacy or rights to her body.

Some Artist Renditions Of Artificial Wombs Could Draw A Chuckle

Personally, if and when that day comes, it will blur the distinction between the active intervention (such as feeding and caring) which keeps a child alive after birth and the mere biological necessities which mean a fetus cannot survive outside of his mother. It will annul claims, in my mind, of life beginning at birth.

Whatever this turns into I at least hope Dr. Paul gets enough attention to spice up the Republican primary. I doubt it, but I can hope.

[Ron Paul’s Anti-War Column]
[Reason Mag: Ron Paul Interview]